After ten years of keeping her art and massage therapy gigs separate, Crystal McLain finally decided to combine the two. She’s excited to be expressing her experience of mind/body work through her art and to be building an online inspiration station for empowered, creative living!

Tell us about a moment that affirmed to you that you were meant to live a creative life.

I moved to Alaska when I was 21. I had absolutely nothing; no bed, no furniture, nada. Well, I did, however, have a sketchpad. I got a job at a coffee shop and would hangout there, sketching when I wasn’t working. One day one of the owners saw my work and said, “you’re really good. You should have a show.” And so I did. I got lots of praise and sold more than half of my work. But honestly, it wasn’t the exchange of money or the ego stroking that affirmed my creative life. It was the continuation of energy that appealed to me. Art is something that came from a thought or an emotion, and then manifested by human hands. And while it was fine to keep it all myself, there was something deeply satisfying knowing that it would evoke something in someone else. That energy can live on through others and that’s pretty amazing.

How has your work practice changed within the covid-19 health crisis?  In terms of time, space, creativity.  Are you still able to create?

I’ve been an artist for my entire adult life, but it’s always played second fiddle to my “real” job as a licenced massage therapist.  I see this COVID situation as a personal gift of time.  During the past two months I’ve really been able to dig deep and find my purpose. I’m excited to be shifting my wellness services into something more creative, and my art into something more purposeful.

What feeds your creativity?

Ooo, this is a juicy one. Well, my compulsion to create USED to come from this weird need to prove to myself that I could execute a style, medium, or subject. But since I’ve relaxed into loving myself, and have nothing to “prove”, I’m inspired by beautiful things. Color, shape, life’s puzzles, and the human condition are what get my juices flowing.

What work would you make if you were not restricted by money, space or time?

BIG + BOLD! I’d love to have a proper studio (now I work in a small bedroom in my rental home- I have to be very careful to not make a mess). But I’d love to be able to afford a large enough space where I could get my whole body into creating. I want to get messy. I believe there’s still a piece of me locked away that will come out once I’m able to express in a big, bold, and messy way. 

Do you come from a creative family?


What would you tell your 10 year old self?

You’re so amazing, you don’t even know. I love you so much.

More of Crystal’s work


Instagram @crystalmclaincreative

Shine a Light

Matrika Shantel @matrikashantel

Sha’an d’Anthes @furrylittlepeach

Sun Lee @sunlee_art

All Artwork and images on this page are copyright of Crystal McLain.